SAPOTA (Manilkara zapota)
Plant Characteristics
Sapodilla requires a temperature range of 11 to 34ºC and an annual precipitation of 225-375 cm. It can be grown in all types of soil but well drained soil is necessary for good growth.
Selection Criteria For Planting Materials
Varieties
Cricket Ball, Oval, Co-1, Co-2, Badami, Baramasi, Calcutta Round, Pala and PKM-1
Seeds And Cultivation
Propagation
It is propagated through layers and grafts. Manilkara hexandra (khirni) is the best rootstock for inarching sapota
Season
The season of planting is May-June. Planting should be avoided during the periods of heavy rains.
Planting
Planting is done in pits of 60 x 60 x 60 cm at a square spacing of 7-8 m.
Training and pruning
No pruning is necessary; but in old trees, lower branches can be removed up to 1 m height.
Flowering and fruiting
The tree flowers continuously in several flushes at short intervals throughout the year. But there are two seasons when flowers will be produced profusely i.e., October to November and February to March. Grafted sapota begins to bear in the third year after planting. Fruit production increases with age up to 30 years followed by a decline. Fruits mature about 4 months after flowering.
Water Management
Irrigation
Irrigation may not be necessary except during the early stages and in the hot weather; but good crops can be obtained with irrigation.
Nutrient Management
Manuring
The recommended nutrient dosage for a full-grown Sapodilla tree per year is:
FYM 5 kg
N:P2O5:K2O 500:360:750 g
Apply FYM in May-June with the onset of monsoon. Apply the fertilizers in two equal split doses, the first during May-June and the second during August-September.
Apply the manures and fertilizers in trenches 30 cm deep taken at a distance of 1 m from the base of the tree.
Harvesting
Mature fruits, which are dull brown in colour, are harvested and stored for about five days before they are fully ripened for consumption. Ripe fruits can be kept for about 5 to 7 days.
MAIN PRODUCTION AREAS-Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panchkula, Kurukshetra, Ambala